28 January 2014Fostering Circumpolar Business Partnerships The Arctic Council recognizes the central role of business in the sustainable development of the Arctic. During Canada’s Chairmanship (2013-15), the Arctic states and indigenous permanent participant organizations are facilitating the creation of a circumpolar business forum - the Arctic Economic Council. Fostering Circumpolar Business Partnerships In the Kiruna Declaration, signed at the eighth Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in May, 2013, Ministers from the eight Arctic Council states “recognize[d] that Arctic economic endeavors are integral to sustainable development for peoples and communities in the region, desire[d] to further enhance the work of the Arctic Council to promote dynamic and sustainable Arctic economies and best practices, and decide[d] to establish a Task Force to facilitate the creation of a circumpolar business forum.” The Task Force to Facilitate the Circumpolar Business Forum (TFCBF) is co-chaired by Canada, Finland, Iceland and Russia. Since May 2013, the task force has been meeting regularly to pave the way for the creation of this body. In December 2013, the Task Force proposed a new name for the circumpolar business forum, which Senior Arctic Officials approved in January 2014. The forum is now called the “Arctic Economic Council.” The Arctic Economic Council will: foster business development in the Arctic, engage in deeper circumpolar cooperation, and provide a business perspective to the work of the Arctic Council. Photo: Mia Bennett - "Lithuanians drying cod in Lofoten".